Darkfox: Access the Dark Web with Ease!

darkfox

NOTE: Darkfox will not help you access .clos, .rdos, .lll, or .loky domains. Those don’t exist!! It will help you access .onion, .I2P, and 127.0.0.1:8888 URIs.

by Ciphas

This may sound like an infomercial, but I swear it’s not.

Those of you who use darknets, in particular Tor, I2P, and Freenet, might have noticed that it can sometimes be inconvenient to have to run each one in a separate browser, or at least have to launch the programs separately.

Well, I found a program that makes it simpler to connect to any of these three networks with a simple command: it’s called Darkfox Launcher.

Its advantage is that it lets you access Tor, I2P, or Freenet without having to change your configurations every time. Plus, it’s very simple to use.

The GitHub page goes into a little more detail, but one of the most important questions it answers is: “How does Darkfox Launcher work?”

Here’s the answer: “Darkfox Launcher works by first changing the default profile of the Firefox Portable software and with that, changing the default network configuration. Once this phase is done, Darkfox will proceed by launching the Darknet proxy software to make the connection to the Darknet chosen by the user. When completed, Firefox Portable will boot to the default startpage of that specific Darknet.”

Darkfox is also a convenient way of quickly accessing one of these networks if, say, you need to contact someone through the network and don’t want to go through the process of installing, for example, I2P.

Included in its software package are these things: Firefox Portable Edition, and the proxy software from the Tor Project, the Invisible Internet Project (I2P), and the Freenet Project. If you’re unfamiliar with each of these, it might help to check them out individually first!

So what’s my opinion? I’ve been using it for a little while now, and while it does have a few bugs, I love it. (Besides, what software doesn’t have bugs, especially in the early stages?)

And you may have noticed that, since it’s on GitHub, Darkfox Launcher is also open source. To that end, if you want to fork it and contribute to the code, feel free.

Now, its downside is that it isn’t as secure as the actual Tor browser. So, if you’re doing some kind of hardcore whistleblowing, or engaging in illicit activities, I don’t recommend Darkfox for you. It’s still a work-in-progress, though, so future versions will probably have improved security features.

On a side note, this may just be nostalgia, but its UI reminds me of both the DOS command prompt and the Bash Unix shell. *Nerding out*

While it may not be about bells and whistles, I think Darkfox Launcher accomplishes its purpose well. For more information about it, check out the Darkfox Read Me: https://github.com/blacklight447/Darkfox-Launcher/blob/master/README.md.

If that’s not enough, take a look at its source code here: https://github.com/blacklight447/Darkfox-Launcher/blob/master/darkfox%20code

darkfox_sourcecode

Who knows? Perhaps in the future, it will have the ability to launch Tor and do your taxes.

Dark Web Links of the Day Pt. 1

blackmarketammo.png

by Ciphas

I’ve been receiving comments on my profile asking if I could post some links, so I’m more than happy to oblige. One thing I should remind my readers about, though – Tor and its darknet brethren are rife with scams. So if anything sounds too good to be true (triple your bitcoin in 2 seconds!!), then it probably is.

TorBay (forum) https://2or24opd2hkebadv.onion

Digital Gangster https://2fwqhlzx5dxiyggr.onion

IDC – Italian Darknet Community https://2qrdpvonwwqnic7j.onion/

Walmart Stuff https://42bu3fd5gaxu3xbn.onion

TorRoulette https://4mxhmvyfba2ji7lb.onion

W38M411 https://23tjl3xpt5btiqms.onion

GRAVES DESIGN https://362jdnvs4w5itsql.onion

Alienet: a Different Sort of VPN

alienet

by Ciphas

Good morning, readers! I’m back after quite the hiatus. I confess this is because I’ve been writing for other publications! (That’s good, right?)

I’ve also been (as the title says) exploring quite a few more darknets beyond just Tor, I2P, and Freenet. Maybe this is obvious to some, but those three are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Anyhow, those of you who watch SomeOrdinaryGamers on YouTube (specifically his “Deep Web Browsing” series), might recognize the site above, called Alienet. He covered it in his video AYYLMAO PARALLEL NET!?!.

According to the person (people?) who run Alienet, it’s a VPN-based hidden network, that emphasizes privacy, anonymity, and security.

In their words (misspellings left intact):

Alienet is the only hidden network that will totally hide your ass from the big brother: when you’re connected to Alienet, your machine will result OFFLINE for the entire internet wolrd! Is that safe enough? Enjoy my dears…..

Spelling and grammar errors aside, I do believe that Alienet is a legit network (in spite of Tor’s plethora of scams).

It uses OpenVPN, an open-source SSL VPN. OpenVPN allows remote access, site-to-site VPNs, and a number of other configurations.

In order to join Alienet, you have to install OpenVPN (of course), and then ask for an Alienet Client Key. The admin will ask you for some particular information, including your operating system, encryption keys, and a contact email.

 

OK, sounds pretty simple, right? I haven’t actually connected to the network yet, but I have tried one of their other services, specifically AnonyMail, which is a privacy-themed email service.

anonymail

Of note: AnonyMail works on both the clearnet and on the Tor network, so you can receive emails from darknet email clients like SIGAINT and OnionMail, as well as most clearnet email providers.

I did a test email to one of my darknet friends through AnonyMail, and it worked with no issues, so I’m assuming that it’s perfectly OK.

The other day, I also finally connected to OpenVPN (I was having password issues initially), and it works just fine. So…once I finish the Alienet process, I’ll probably do a “Part 2” about that.

The site also explains that once you connect to Alienet, you can access “.anon sites,” which aren’t official DNS names – they certainly aren’t listed at IANA – Root Zone Database (i.e. the official list of approved domain names). I believe this is how the .onion domain name was originally created.

Some DNS names, after they’ve been submitted for approval, do become official names, but that takes a long time.

Anyhow, I thought this might interest some of you. Take a look at the network, and let me know if you find anything interesting!

2af159e1f9453508ecfad112e4c5b4287371416d3ef4fab3b85bb20238a6b45f_1

 

Dark Web Chat: Liberty or Depravity?

I was trawling the dark web yesterday looking for writing inspiration (yes, I do that), and what did I find?

No, it wasn’t any disturbing images, sick videos, or child pornography – it was a couple of chat rooms. That sounds innocent enough, but what I’ve learned during my research is that if you give people complete anonymity, they’ll feel free to be themselves.

In the context of the dark web, this can mean a lot of things.

chat_room_tor

The not Evil chat on Tor.

In one sense, it’s ideal for whistleblowers, hackers, and others who merely require privacy for what I would consider “legitimate” reasons. In another, it’s also ripe for pedophiles and other depraved individuals who, for obvious reasons, would want to remain anonymous, but are inclined to share sick imagery and the like.

I’m sure I’m not the first to express this, but I want to give my take on it. So, as I say frequently, it isn’t all sick and disturbed individuals that I’ve come across.

One of the first chat rooms I checked out on the Tor network was one linked to the not Evil search engine, and seemed relatively harmless. (It’s the one in the screenshot above.)

Occasionally, it would have a visitor asking for something along the lines of drugs or the aforementioned red rooms, but that was about it. Although one time, I did receive a message from a user who was a complete stranger:

Anonymous: Hi there. Need to hire a hacker or ruin someone’s reputation?
Me: No, just doing research. Thanks!
Anonymous: ok, well if you do then contact me.

All in all, it wasn’t the strangest exchange I’ve ever had on Tor, but it may have shown my naivete. Since then, I’ve gone back to the not Evil chat rooms, and have rarely had a similar conversation (if you can even call it that).

Going a Little Deeper

onionchat

Oh, the jokes I would’ve made in 3rd grade over that.  Anyhow, another chat room which I’ve used a few times goes by the name of OnionChat.  Like the previous one, it seemed relatively harmless, although I suppose you never know who you’ll come across.

In my most recent experience with that place, someone was doxing Donald Trump (surprise, surprise).and his family members.  The person released not only their addresses, but social media accounts, phone numbers, email addresses, registry domains, and IP addresses.  (Not that I’m going to share that information here, as much as I might be tempted to.)

Snowden or Honeypot? (WARNING!!!!)

wikileaks

Via that same chat room, I received a link to another slightly more mysterious chat room that was supposedly connected to WikiLeaks.  In that room, you would be given a randomly generated name before you started chatting (such as “BobRoss09”).  Next to the little chat box was a button labeled “Destroy,” which would supposedly purge any chat messages you had left there forever.

The idea behind it (again, in theory) was that if you wanted to submit leaked documents or information to WikiLeaks, you could do it there secretly.  Unfortunately, I have no idea if it was genuine, a honeypot, or something worse, and because of that, I’m going to go with fake.  I tend not to trust random strangers on the dark web (good philosophy, right?).

It’s possible that the chat room was actually set up by federal law enforcement to catch those who were leaking confidential documents, or set up by someone with malicious intent who wanted to steal important documents.  Either way, I’m going to nope the fuck out of there.

By the way, if you really want to submit information to WikiLeaks, they have an official Tor hidden service at WikiLeaks Upload and Form Submission.  You can also find their public PGP key here: https://wikileaks.org/#submit_wlkey.  For Tor users, here’s the equivalent .onion address: http://wlupld3ptjvsgwqw.onion/wl-submission-key.html (I promise that that one’s not a scam).

A Festering Sewer

The worst chat room I’ve come across so far is another one which I won’t share the link to, because I just know that some of you will click on it.

Essentially, it was the type of place where nothing was out-of-bounds, including child pornography, animal abuse, and/or hurtcore.  People would discuss their beyond-sick fantasies in graphic detail, and would also share images and videos candidly.

In fact, it was one of those places where, in order to be admitted to the chat room in the first place, you had to share some CP images or videos.  That way they would (in theory) know that you weren’t a cop.

I confess that initially, I did try to join the chat room (if only for research purposes, I swear!), but once I knew that you had to upload this disgusting material in order to join, I hastily made my exit. What I can do is try to simulate the conversations for my readers (without getting too graphic).

Girllover: anyone got pics of young girls
sickfuck: i do hold on
sickfuck: here [689389.jpg]
Girllover: oh wow, that’s hot thanks
necrophile44: anyone have pics of young dead girls?
sickfuck: oh necro, you drive a hard bargain [09890.jpg]

Well, you get the idea.  The real thing is much worse than what I’ve written here.  I suppose, in theory, just chatting about these concepts isn’t illegal, but the type of people who have these fantasies I would expect to have much worse on their computers.

And I’m sure that this is far from the only chat room of its type on the dark web.  It merely shocked me because I hadn’t often taken the opportunity to actually enter one of the chat rooms before.

Am I being corrupted by my dark web research?  I don’t think so, but it can take a toll on you sometimes.

As Nietzsche once said, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

Is That All There Is? (No, Actually.)

ictsecure

 

I still say that, in spite of the sometimes-horrifying things that you can find on Tor, Freenet, and other networks, they’re still necessary.  In an increasingly surveillance-ridden world, there is a need for privacy.

If that means that sometimes crazy and disturbed individuals will form communities, so be it.  I think that eventually, they will be found out, one way or another.  I still consider myself an advocate of privacy and security.

I’ve just had my eyes opened to the dark corners; that’s all.

 

Freenet Frustrations: FMS, Sone, etc.

freenet_fms_setup

Good morning readers!  The reason I haven’t posted in almost a week is that I’ve been in the process of doing research on other aspects of Freenet, I2P and other networks that I haven’t explored much yet.

The other reason might be that I’ve had a little writer’s block, but that’s normal, right?

So, I’m working on setting up the Freenet Message System (FMS) (you need Freenet for this link), which I mentioned briefly in the post Alternatives to Tor: Freenet.  It’s been a little more challenging than I expected, because first I needed to install the proper software to be able to use the various FMS components.

Second, I needed to actually download the components of the program (O RLY?), which sounds simple, but this is where I had a tendency to get stuck.  The reason for this is that I would start the download process, and then my Freenet node would shut down in the middle of it; thus, I would need to start over again!  I felt exactly like this guy:

201412_0945_bbheh

Of course, I’ve had similar errors on the clearnet too, so that’s no reason to quit.  If you’re having any difficulty downloading and/or installing FMS, I did find an excellent tutorial that covers both Windows OS’s and Ubuntu: CryptNode.org – Freenet Setup FMS on Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.10.

The video really does explain in plain English how to go about installing them – maybe I should give it another try too! If you are successful in downloading all of the components, then I would recommend The Unofficial Guide to FMS (You need Freenet for this link).  It does a great job of breaking down the various features of it.

Game of Sones

setup002

In addition to FMS, I’m also working at setting up Sone, which is the official Freenet social network.  Again, it doesn’t seem that hard, but my computer may begin giving me an attitude – I’m not sure.

Just to be nice, though, I thought I’d share this link with you: Freenet Social Networking Guide: Creating a microblogging account with Sone.   According to that, you must first create an identity with WebOfTrust (WOT) plugin, which is also designed to solve the problem of spam on the network.

weboftrust_instructions

Credit for this tutorial goes to my friend Arne Babenhauserheide; I’d like to share at least part of it here with you.

Step 1: Go to the Plugins menu under Configuration (on your node’s home page):

setup001

Step 2: Load the official WebOfTrust plugin:

setup002

Step 3: After plugin has finished downloading, you need to click on the ‘Own anonymous identities’ option on the Community menu.

setup003

Step 4: Freenet will generate a random name for your “new identity.”  Though you can refresh the page and get a new one, it’s recommended that you select the first one that shows up.  When you’ve found one that you like, click “Create.”

CAUTION: If you create multiple identities and only pick ones that you like, it creates a pattern that decreases anonymity.  (The same goes for any characteristic that might deanonymize you on Tor!)

There are more steps to the process, but the full guide, once again, is here: http://freesocial.draketo.de/wot_en.html.  Thanks Arne!!

I’m sure all this isn’t nearly as difficult as it appears to be, I’ve just been held up in the process by slow connections and all that.  Which is why I guarantee you there will be a sequel or two to this post!

Oinkageddon!

stop-im-one-of-you-pig

No, that was not a typo.  For newcomers to Freenet, I’ve said before that there is disturbing material on it, but if you find it, it’s basically because you’re looking for it!

The index called Linkageddon, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, is simply a list of every Freenet site, whether it has offensive material or not.  I’ve come across some highly disturbing things there, but in my mind, it wasn’t cause for alarm.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees it the same way.  According to a 2015 post on Deepdotweb (Police Log IPs, Making Arrest By Planting Own Nodes in Freenet), law enforcement are monitoring Freenet in a similar manner to Tor, targeting certain people. It seems that they’re specifically looking for offenders who possess child porn downloaded through Freenet.

I’ve said this before, but – I’m definitely opposed to the production of child pornography. At the same time, I hate that its existence has become an excuse to shut down networks like Freenet, in which much of the material is perfectly legal.

So it’s kind of a Catch-22, isn’t it?  Well, hopefully Freenet stays up and running, in spite of some of the run-ins with law enforcement.

It’s called Freenet for a reason, after all!

P.S. Here are a couple of legal Freenet links, if you’re interested (as far as I know, there’s nothing disturbing on these):

USK@DXNTwIka7DbpxAa1-TGIkAYE3E3W0BBzfYEm5IIvIOo,TAe7a-w~nR6GzGUs64onIJshzMPzLZuW4-qbD5Vc674,AQACAAE/xkcd/410/

USK@lR9Sq56gUPH4uV6O9UCs-CifnRHCDWx0j~V2a6DwPgY,-ru5J7hDG1rXNGevraEkWVkxHMHohv9mZde5VT237Ec,AQACAAE/Death_for_Global_Warming_Deniers/0/

USK@NAKEVlN5CZ~nUlEnH4WUG8ANfvNZ-RuSUjRjfDHm2bA,R8kjg51bYWCJSwlwK5sOrHUjQ2gjHc7NhCVCWFJ4ncs,AQACAAE/HackZandCrackZ/3/

USK@GqiRYVB9AGvEnbhp3X~F3HDX-AYf60qzeqKgqc-8mvg,6KDbRU4K763XNW3f2XexjaxvRPv7LupK6pv~jEXrlJo,AQACAAE/alleykats_corner/14/

 

How to Access the Dark Web with I2P!

use-i2p-host-and-share-your-secret-goods-dark-web-anonymously.w654

What?  You mean there’s another way to access the dark web?  YES!

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating – Tor is not the only way to access the so-called “dark web,” but it seems to be the most popular at the moment.  In fact, there are many ways to do so.  Oddly enough, many of the trending articles that discuss the dark web act as if Tor is the only way to reach it.

“Dark web” is essentially a metaphor for all the sites built on top of encrypted networks that require special software, configurations or permissions to access.  I must clarify this, however – Tor, I2P, and Freenet are completely separate networks.

On previous posts I’ve mentioned Freenet, but there are other options too, and I2P is one of them.  The reason that it probably doesn’t have the same reputation as Tor, or even Freenet for that matter, is that it’s a bit more complex to learn and use.  (At least that’s my guess).

So, downloading I2P is the easy part; just go to Download – I2P and install it!  The site offers packages for the following OS’s:

  • Windows
  • Mac OS X
  • GNU/Linux/BSD/Solaris
  • Debian/Ubuntu
  • Android

The tricky part, as you may have guessed, is the post-install work!  Courtesy of their homepage, I’ll offer the steps:

I2P_post-install-work

After running the installer on Windows, simply click on the “Start I2P” button which will bring up the router console, which has further instructions.

On Unix-like systems, I2P can be started as a service using the “i2prouter” script, located in the directory you selected for I2P. Changing to that directory in a console and issuing “sh i2prouter status” should tell you the router’s status. The arguments “start”, “stop” and “restart” control the service. The router console can be accessed at its usual location. For users on OpenSolaris and other systems for which the wrapper (i2psvc) is not supported, start the router with “sh runplain.sh” instead.

When installing for the first time, please remember to adjust your NAT/firewall if you can, bearing in mind the Internet-facing ports I2P uses, described here among other ports. If you have successfully opened your port to inbound TCP, also enable inbound TCP on the configuration page.

Also, please review and adjust the bandwidth settings on the configuration page, as the default settings of 96 KBps down / 40 KBps up are fairly slow.

If you want to reach eepsites via your browser, have a look on the browser proxy setup page for an easy howto.

Did that read like a foreign language to you?  Congratulations!  It did to me too, at first.  It may make more sense once you actually get into the process of setting it up…or not.

At first, I’ll admit I was somewhat intimidated by I2P, given that you couldn’t just install it and run it without a lot of configuration and forehand knowledge, but now that I’m more educated in that area, it’s kind of fun (believe it or not).  Or maybe it’s because I’m a nerd, I don’t know…

d4f20041254a0727ddce7cb81be9e68c

If you find the homepage’s instructions a bit too technical, there are a number of other sites that “translate” the setup tutorial into a simple guide. Deepdotweb featured one of these guides in this post: Full guide: How to access I2P Sites & Use TheMarketplace.i2p

The Tin Hat also offers a great tutorial here: How To Use I2P | I2P Tutorial & Setup Guide.  Plus, they explain how the network works in layman’s terms!

the_tin_hat_I2P

Screenshot credit: thetinhat.com

Once you have the network up and running and you open it in a browser (e.g. Firefox), you should see a page like this:

I2P_router_console_0.7.7

Credit: 2009 Wikimedia Commons

As it says, that’s the I2P Router Console, and from that page you can configure just about everything about your connection, how much bandwidth you’re using, and what IP address your “identity” appears to be (not unlike Tor, actually)!

Let the Right One In

hand-984170_960_720

I had to include at least one creepy image.

Now, I have to confess that the part where I got held up was when I tried to access actual I2P sites (known as “eepsites”).  I knew I was connected to the network, so that wasn’t the problem.

According to the official I2P FAQ, under the question explaining what eepsites are:

An eepsite is a website that is hosted anonymously – you can access it by setting your web browser’s HTTP proxy to use the web proxy (typically it listens on localhost port 4444), and browsing to the site.

I did this, but I was still unable to access a number of the eepsites (or at least the featured ones on the router console).  Therefore, my thought was that the sites themselves were down.

Either that, or my firewall settings were preventing me from accessing the sites – I plan on modifying those and giving this another try.  Of note: eepsites also tend to go down often (not unlike .onion sites), so that could also be the problem.

But Wait…There’s More!

I2PBote-inbox-0.4

Like its darknet cousin Freenet, I2P offers several main features:

Email/Messaging: I2P has a few different messaging services.  The main ones are a built-in email application and I2P-Bote, a secure messaging platform somewhat akin to Freenet’s FMS (Freenet Messaging System) application.

I2P-Bote is a P2P email service; there is no central server that stores your personal data. Email messages are stored in encrypted form on the computers of other I2P-Bote users, which is how it differs in its structure from standard email services.  No one with the ability to read your emails actually stores them on their servers.

If you check out the link above, it breaks down many of the security features of I2P-Bote, including its encryption method(s), and anonymity components.

I2P-Bote, as opposed to standard email services like Gmail or Outlook, uses cryptographic keys as destinations (i.e. randomly generated numbers and letters.)

sy10500b

This end-to-end encryption is the default with I2P-Bote.  Beyond that, I2P-Bote also sanitizes email headers, taking out any unimportant information, and encrypts what’s left (e.g. the subject line).

I don’t know about you folks, but I find that very reassuring!

IRC (Internet Relay Chat): Some of you are probably already familiar with IRC – it’s been around since the internet’s early days (1988, believe it or not)!  The difference with I2P is that it has an IRC service that allows users to chat anonymously.  Similar services exist on Tor, by the way.  I have yet to use the chat service, but I plan on doing so in the future (and perhaps writing a separate post about it).  According to The Tin Hat’s how-to guide:

“Often controversial topics are talked about in these channels, but nobody is afraid of offering what may be a very valid, but unpopular opinion, pushing you to explore new ideas from new perspectives.”

And I can’t help but be reminded of an episode of Numbers while reading that line where they said this:

numbers_irc

Uhh…no it isn’t.  But I digress.  If you do end up using I2P’s IRC, The Tin Hat recommends the chat rooms #salt and #i2p-chat, which you can connect to by setting your IRC client (such as X-Chat) to 127.0.0.1 on port 6668.  If you already have experience with this, feel free to give me some feedback on how it went!

Torrents: Oh my God, you can torrent over I2P?  Yes – in fact, some would say that gives it an advantage over Tor, which strongly advises against torrenting over their network.

I2P offers The Postman Tracker and I2PSnark.  The former is a lot like The Pirate Bay, and the latter is very similar to µTorrent.  Again, I have yet to try out this feature, but according to my research, the torrenting feature only provides more cover-traffic, which actually improves your anonymity (as opposed to Tor)!

I2P also gives the user an advantage in that they can use it as a proxy for clearnet torrents, like BitTorrent or µTorrent.  That way you’re less likely to get some ominous letter from the RIAA, or have others users spying on your torrents.  It’s not 100% foolproof, but I’d say it’s smarter.  

Beyond that, there is an I2P plugin for the Vuze torrent client called I2P Helper; if you intend to use I2P primarily for torrenting, then it works very well in this context.  I2P Helper allows you to download torrents from both the clearnet and the dark web simultaneously.  To boot, you can configure Vuze to use I2P by itself, or an already running external I2P router.

One of the positive things about using I2P for torrenting is that there is very little child pornography or other questionable material on the torrent trackers (despite claims to the contrary).  Rather, there are quite a few sci-fi books, programming books, leaked government documents, movies, and music.

Its downside, however, is speed, which on average is about 30KBps (compared to roughly 1-2 MB/s on most other torrenting sites).  The trade-off, of course, is the anonymity factor.  You’re much less likely to get discovered and sued by angry record labels and movie studios if you’re using I2P, as opposed to their “cousins” on the clearnet.  So the choice is yours.

Give Me Links!  Give Me Links!

09_Browse_to_Site

All right, you asked for it!  I haven’t vetted any of these links, so enter at your own risk. These links are courtesy of DCJTech.info: DarkWeb Link List.  I have to admit, they’re much easier to remember than most .onion addresses, aren’t they?

Directory (I2P)

File-Sharing and Torrents

Gaming

Messaging

Miscellaneous I2P Sites

OutProxies

Search Engines (I2P)

Shopping (I2P)

Social

Is that enough links to get you started?  Well, I hope you have fun checking them out.

As for me,  I do hope to explore I2P more in the near future; it seems perfectly suited to nerds like me!

With that…it’s off to the darknet again…

 

 

 

 

 

 

TsalalNet: Another Urban Legend? Probably.

In the process of writing this blog, I’ve been doing a lot of research, and a common factor that keeps coming up is that there are “deeper” levels of the dark web than the ones that we commonly see (e.g. Tor, I2P, Freenet).

One of the urban legends of this nature that’s been passed around is that of the so-called “Mariana’s Web,” which was likely based on the infographic that described levels of the web as being akin to layers of the ocean.  I’m almost 100% certain that this is pure myth, and was invented by someone who wanted to troll people who had never used Tor or other darknets.

And now, supposedly, I’m hearing about another layer of the web called “TsalalNet,” which I’ve come across on sites like this one: Girls Who Like Dragons: tsalalnet.  While I’ve never “been to” this part of the web (if it exists at all), my feeling is that it should be lumped together with the Shadow Web and the Mariana’s Web – a pure urban legend. I believe this in particular because the paragraph below has been reproduced entirely on several different websites; they call them “creepypastas” for a reason!

Notwithstanding, I’ll share the source of the “legend” with you here:

“A lot of discussion has been going around on the subject of the Deep Web (also called Deepnet, the invisible Web, DarkNet, Undernet or the hidden web), though little has been discussed on TsalalNet. I could understand why though; it’s one of the more obscure sites in there. Even for veteraned [sic] members of the deep web, it still remains to be one of the less discussed sites on there.

TsalalNet is a site reserved for the unexplainable areas of the deep web, a place dedicated to media and discussion of the strange and unusual.  Most videos and images contain the usual content found on deep web sites, including child pornography, snuff videos, etc., but with what is described by many as an unusual edge or underlying factor to it all.

The content found in TsalalNet may trouble even some of the [veterans, as] the raw footage of acts including necrophilia or snuff contain a layer of the mystical or unnatural that could not be explained.  Unworldly sounds are heard in accompaniment to the usual grotesque sounds, whilst visuals suggest something ritualistic at play.

This can even be found in pornographic content, with videos of nude children covered in animal entrails becoming subjects to strange ceremonies performed by men in dark suits.  Popular videos include footage of women having miscarriages of grotesque creatures, complex and perhaps occult snuff videos, videos of unexplainable events deemed too graphic and unusual for other sites, and more. 

There are several parts to this story that raise doubts in my mind, in particular the “raw footage of acts…contain a layer of the mystical or unnatural that could not be explained,” and “…footage of women having miscarriages of grotesque creatures.”  If this site does exist at all, then it’s more than likely that these videos are staged.

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Although I did find this one picture…

Beyond the fact that it sounds dubious, I had actually searched for the word “TsalalNet” on Tor and Freenet, and came up with nothing.  I would think that if it existed, people would at least be talking about it on the dark web somewhere.  Of course, if I am wrong about this, and such a site exists, please feel free to correct me!

Early on, when I changed the theme of this blog to be technology-related, I had attempted to explain the whole deep web/dark web phenomenon, and I’m not sure I really succeeded. So let me just put it all out there: terms like “deep web” and “dark web” are really just metaphors!

In the technical sense, the “deep web” means web pages that aren’t indexed by standard search engines, like Google and Bing.  The “dark web” is the part of the web that I frequently talk about on this blog: sites that use anonymity networks and require special software or configurations to access (e.g. Tor, I2P, Freenet, GNUnet).  This diagram explains it the most accurately:

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If it’s any consolation to the jaded dark web explorers out there – even though these names like “shadow web” and “TsalalNet” may be mythical, this does not mean that different parts of the web are nonexistent.  If you visit the Wikipedia page for Anonymity networks, you’ll come across many examples of other networks designed for privacy. Personally, I haven’t explored them all, and there may be interesting content that I have yet to see or discover.

If you go by the infographic above, however, the closest thing to a so-called “Marianas Web” that actually exists would be the private networks or alternative networks that do not use the public internet.

There are also newer anonymity networks that are in the process of being developed – if you want to consider those to be “deeper” than the ones that already exist, go right ahead.

Of note: I’ve read from more than one source that this picture is a more accurate representation of the internet than any of the other infographics – it seems more like a brain or a central nervous system:

Internet_map_1024

What are your thoughts on this?  I, for one, am not disappointed; I still believe there is much to discover out there.